For a few extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the week, make sure you follow these helpful tips published by The Daily Herald:
- Keep the car in as high a gear as possible and get to the higher gears as quickly as possible.
- Have a light touch on the throttle. For most applications 25 per cent throttle is quite adequate. Hard acceleration is the enemy of fuel economy.
- Look ahead and read traffic conditions. Plan to maintain momentum, reducing the need for excessive braking and subsequent acceleration.
- Monitor tyre pressures. Low pressures increase rolling resistance of tyres and use more fuel. You should keep to the manufacturer's specifications.
- Stick to the speed limit. High speeds use more fuel.
- Reduce mass and drag. You would be surprised how much unnecessary equipment accumulates in the boot of a car. Roof pods, racks and extended wing mirrors all minimise the efficiency of a car through the air. More weight and drag equals less economy. Remove the bits when they are not being used.
- Avoid idling as you are wasting fuel going nowhere.
- Keep your vehicle in shape; clean air filters keep impurities in the air from damaging the engine and can improve fuel economy.
- Don't turn on the air conditioner as a first response to heat; even the most efficient air conditioners expend a fair bit of fuel.
- When buying a car, consider its fuel economy.
Analysis: Ditching the roof racks and turfing out the bullion hidden in your boot is a no-brainer, but remembering that low gears, air conditioning and hard acceleration are fuel economy killers is the key in the long run. If we all held off the lead shoe for a week maybe we could put a dent in those Exxon profits?